Turning the Tide on Blue Monday
Blue Monday, marked on 15th January 2024, is here again. Many of us find ourselves caught in the swirl of post-holiday blues, the chill of long winter nights, and a fleeting motivation for New Year’s resolutions. While Blue Monday is not rooted in scientific evidence, it has become a symbolic day to acknowledge our mental and emotional wellbeing, particularly during the winter months.
At Classic Sailing, we work hard to help turn the tide on Blue Monday by embracing the concept of Blue Health. Blue health is the understanding of how water-based environments positively impact our mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Spending time at sea – especially aboard a traditional sailing vessel – ticks all of these boxes. We have been offering sailing holidays that reap the benefits of Blue Health since 1996! So this Blue Monday, we invite you to try traditional sailing, an activity that not only brings joy and makes memories but also fosters a multitude of health benefits:
Mental Well-being and the Emotional Benefits of Sailing
The vastness of the sea and the rhythmic motion of the waves naturally induce a state of calm and relaxation. Sailing on our traditional vessels offers a tranquil escape from the everyday stresses, reducing anxiety and promoting mental peace.
The awe-inspiring nature of the sea can significantly uplift one’s mood. Seeing the light change throughout the day, watching the patterns form and disappear on the sea’s surface and listening to the sounds of canvas sails and wooden planks and yards. Not to mention the thrill of watching wild dolphins play in the ship’s bow wave or even spotting a whale breach in the distance. All reminders that it’s a big wide world out there, far away from the pressures of work and life’s trials. Sailing provides an opportunity for mindfulness and meditation, which are key to emotional regulation and resilience. Several of our vessels even welcome you to join in with morning boat or beach yoga sessions and mindfulness walks ashore.
Physical Health on the Waves:
Unlike modern yachts with their push buttons and ultra-modern conveniences, traditional sailing is hands on. It requires teamwork, physical engagement and skill – don’t worry! Your crew will teach you everything you need to know to get as hand on as you you like.
One of your first activities aboard is to hoist the sails – no self-tailing electric winches here! For Gaff sailing, it’s 2 teams of 2 or 3 sweating and tailing up that mainsail – and we call it sweating for a reason! If helming is more your style, keeping on course for an hour or two involves staying on your feet, with constant adjustments and concentration. And just when you all feel like you can relax, skipper shouts “lee-ho!” and it’s time to tack! It’s a full-body workout that enhances cardiovascular health and overall fitness. (Of course, while we encourage everyone to get involved as much as they can, you will never be asked to more than you want – it’s your holiday after all! And there is also plenty of downtime!)
There’s more to a sailing holiday than just sitting up on deck too – often you’ll get the opportunity to swim or even paddle board and during your time ashore you can explore the local ports, beaches or rivers by foot. Some of our vessels have ship’s tenders that are propelled by rowing, rather than an outboard engine.
Building Community and Cognitive Benefits:
Sea faring demands focus and creativity, sharpening your cognitive abilities. Sailing is a communal activity, enjoyed by people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Everyone who joins a voyage brings their own skills and experiences and contributes them to the ship in a wide variety of ways. Whether you’re the musician, creating the soundtrack from the voyage; the thrill seeker daring others to step out of their comfort zone! Perhaps you’re the organised one, ready to offer a squidge of suncream or a peek through your binoculars. Or the maternal figure who wants to ensure their seasick ship-mate is ok. Everyone fits in.
Most of our customers are solo-sailors, when they arrive at least! When you disembark at the end of your voyage you are far from that! As a professional tall ship sailor, one of highlights of my job is seeing what started as a group of shy strangers build confidence and bond over the course of a voyage. You wouldn’t believe the number of WhatsApp groups I’m in by the end of a sailing season! And I love it! I’m still in regular contact with my fellow sailing guests from my very first voyage aboard Morgenster back in 2018! Traditional sailing fosters a sense of belonging and strengthens social ties. It develops compassion, empathy and understanding because getting along and working together is essential in navigating a traditional vessel.
So, this Blue Monday, let’s cast off the winter blues and set sail towards better health and wellbeing. Join one of our voyages to experience the transformative power of traditional sailing.
To embark on your sailing adventure, explore our 2024 voyages here
If you’re excitedly looking forward to your first (or 50th!) voyage, why not join our Classic Sailing Sailors Facebook Group! Meet other guests, swap tips & tricks and share your Classic Sailing voyage memories and stories.
Looking for inspiration? Check out our fleet of incredible sailing vessels: